The U.S. House of Representatives voted this afternoon to continue funding the war in Iraq without setting any deadlines for ending the conflict. Now more Americans will die and more Iraqis will die and nothing will be the better because of it. We find ourselves in an endless cycle of war and death and our political leaders cannot find a way out.
First, we propose that American and British troops be replaced by an international police force composed of those who better understand the Iraqi culture. Leaders in Saudi Arabia proposed such a solution almost three years ago. Americans and Brits are not only devoid of any grasp of the language and the religion of the Iraqi people, but are defined by many Muslims as a Christian army that has invaded a sacred Islamic land. Our army’s presence is perceived by many in the Muslim world as a rebirth of the medieval crusades.
Second, we propose that the United States appropriate $50 billion to rebuild the towns and cities that the invasion of Iraq has left in shambles. This would be a small price to pay, considering the $2 billion we are presently spending every week in order to keep this war going.
Third, we propose that our president go before the United Nations and ask the world to forgive America for what we have done to Iraq, and how we have set back efforts for world peace. He should point out that he is asking forgiveness on behalf of almost all Americans – because we overwhelmingly lent support to the invasion of Iraq some four years ago. He should further point out that our original intentions were good! We Americans were told that we were invading in order to remove the threat of what we thought were Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Repentance of this kind is necessary because we need to re-establish our moral standing in the world, and confessing wrongdoing is a start for doing that. It is not weakness to admit that we did wrong, especially when the whole world knows that we did. Now is the time for us to live out that verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
If you are willing to support this proposal, go to www.tikkun.org/iraqpeace. You will find an expanded version of this proposal there, along with an opportunity to sign on with us. Do it now, because time is short and the days are filled with evil (Ephesians 5:16).
Across the globe religious leaders – including the Vatican, the World Council of Churches and most national protestant and orthodox bodies – opposed the war from the very beginning. We have to keep working to bring peace because the Republicans and Democrats in Congress seem unable to imagine anything but war.